Childrens Dieting Book Causes Controversy and Outrage
A children’s book called “Maggie Goes on a Diet” by Paul Kramer is generating a lot of attention on the internet, although it is not due to be released until October. Parents and weight-loss professionals have expressed concern that the book is sending the wrong message to vulnerable young girls. The book is aimed at children between the ages of 4 to 12, and is supposed to touch on the sort of issues that young girls face in everyday life.
In the book, Maggie is initially overweight and takes comfort from eating food. She endures teasing from other kids, and decides to diet and exercise in order to lose weight. At the end of the story, Maggie is fit, healthy, and slim. She becomes the star of her school soccer team, and is popular with the other children. The book is written in rhyme and intended to be read by parents together with their children.
Kramer has written a number of other children’s books which deal with ordinary situations facing youngsters today such as divorce, bed wetting, and bullying. He defends his latest book, stating that the storyline encourages young girls to be empowered about making healthy choices.
Critics respond that the book encourages girls to be overly focused on their outward appearance, and that losing weight doesn’t necessarily translate into instant popularity. In a society already obsessed with body image and weight loss, the book suggests that girls who are not the perfect size and shape are failures. Health care professionals have commented that children who are overweight are encouraged to eat a balanced diet and exercise, instead of going on a diet.